The 2012 Big Three bonfire on Cannon Green

With a 59-43 win over Yale in New Haven Nov. 10, Princeton football secured at least a share of the Ivy League title and the first Big Three bonfire since 2013. At 9-0, the Tigers also were on the doorstep of their first undefeated season since 1964

Princeton surged to a 21-0 lead in the first five minutes against Yale and never looked back, piling up 489 rushing yards in the game. Three Tigers ran for at least 100 yards — Collin Eaddy ’21, whose 266 yards were the most for a Princeton runner since 2008, Ryan Quigley ’20, and quarterback John Lovett ’19 — and Lovett completed 13 of 19 pass attempts for 145 yards. Princeton led 59-28 early in the fourth quarter before the Bulldogs added two scores to narrow the margin of victory.

A week earlier, Princeton had its hands full against then-unbeaten Dartmouth and its stout defense, which allowed an early touchdown but later sacked Lovett in the end zone for a safety, giving the Big Green a 9-7 lead early in the second quarter. That margin stood until the fourth quarter, when Lovett broke through with a 5-yard touchdown run with 6:33 remaining. Princeton’s defense held firm on Dartmouth’s last two possessions, and the Tigers ran out the final two minutes for a 14-9 victory.

Even with its modest point total against Dartmouth, Princeton remained on pace to break the program’s modern record for scoring in a season, needing just 10 points against Penn to top the previous high of 437, set in 2013. The defense has been nearly as impressive, ranking fifth in the Football Championship Subdivision in points allowed (12.9 per game). Only two teams, Harvard and Yale, scored more than 10 points against the Tigers this year.